Wavestone US
Wavestone US

So what role does the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and Service Catalog play in Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)?  Well everything.  It’s the heart, center or repository of information on services, systems, applications delivered to the business.  Most organizations don’t take advantage of what a service catalog has to offer.  Most CMDB implementations are standalone when in fact they need to be federated.  A Federated CMDB is an enterprise CMDB that accepts CMDB information from many sources. Got Software as a Service (SaaS); need federated CMDB.  

Let’s start by looking at the CMDB since we can use it as one of the building blocks for the service catalog. 

While the concept of a CMDB has been around for years in the forms of spreadsheets, Visio diagrams and simple databases, the CMDB of today is based on standards from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF).  The management and operation of a CMDB is defined in the ITIL standards. 

A CMDB has three primary components or views:

  • Technical
  • Ownership and Provider
  • Relationship 

Many organizations think they have a robust CMDB when in reality they do not.  There are many reasons for this including trying to “boil the ocean” and not having the right processes to maintain the CMDB.  Populating and maintaining a CMDB is a journey and not a destination.  Having a strategy and road-map to implementing, maintaining and assessing the health of your CMDB is critical to long term value. 

Start with the basics – server names, locations, ownership, applications installed, relationship to other assets in the infrastructure.  Make sure you tie problem and change management to the configuration management processes.  Once in place, expand to include desktops, laptops and mobile devices. 

As the CMDB is being implemented having a service strategy and road-map becomes paramount to an IT organization’s ability to be effective and add value to the business.  Too often the business can purchase SaaS and hosted solutions without the involvement of IT, causing support, inter-operability and service quality issues.  Ensuring your services road-map can include SaaS and other services not hosted or provided by the internal IT team means IT can be the service integrator of choice for the business. 

As with the CMDB, the service catalog should be implemented in stages and can start with the basics such as services for desktop, laptop, phone, e-mail, new hire, and termination.  From there, you can grow the service catalog to include provisioning of computer and storage, access requests, office moves and resource requests for projects.

To learn more about Wavestone US’ services, visit http://thinkwgroup.com/services

Wavestone US

Our team is a blend of former C-suite executives and industry leaders, and high-quality talent at all levels who can tackle your most complex issues with a fresh approach. With a globally connected network of 3,000 employees, Wavestone US is designed to help you get results. All our consultants thrive on complex challenges, enjoy blazing new trails, and are committed to your organization’s success.

Cloud Rationalization for a Successful Migration

Sep 22, 2020

Here’s how to streamline your digital estate as you make your move to the cloud

Top Six Transition Risks in the Time of COVID-19 (and How to Overcome Them)

Sep 15, 2020

Get actionable insights based on our outsourcing advisory engagements in the first half of 2020

Have a Question? Just Ask


Whether you're looking for practical advice or just plain curious, our experienced principals are here to help. Check back weekly as we publish the most interesting questions and answers right here.

Ask Wavestone